Princess Maria Anna of Anhalt-Dessau
|Princess Maria Anna|
|Princess Frederick Charles of Prussia|
14 September 1837|
|Died||12 May 1906
|Spouse||Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia|
|Issue||Marie, Princess Henry of the Netherlands
Elisabeth Anna, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Oldenburg
Louise Margaret, Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn
Prince Friedrich Leopold
|Father||Leopold IV, Duke of Anhalt|
|Mother||Frederica Wilhelmina of Prussia|
Princess Maria Anna of Anhalt-Dessau (14 September 1837, Dessau – 12 May 1906, Friedrichroda) was a princess from the House of Ascania. She was the third child of Leopold IV, Duke of Anhalt and Frederica Wilhelmina of Prussia.
Maria Anna's paternal grandparents were Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-Dessau and Landgravine Amalie of Hesse-Homburg. Her maternal grandparents were Prince Louis Charles of Prussia (brother of King Frederick William III of Prussia) and Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
Marriage and issue
On 29 November 1854 she married her second cousin Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia. He was a grandson of Frederick William III of Prussia by his father Prince Charles of Prussia. They had four children:
|Princess Marie Elisabeth Luise Friederike of Prussia||1855||1888||married twice (1) Prince Henry of the Netherlands (1820–1879); (2) Prince Albert of Saxe-Altenburg|
|Princess Elisabeth Anna of Prussia||1857||1895||married Frederick Augustus II, Grand Duke of Oldenburg|
|Princess Anna Victoria Charlotte Augusta Adelheid of Prussia||1858||1858|
|Princess Luise Margarete Alexandra Victoria Agnes of Prussia||1860||1917||married Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn|
|Prince Joachim Carl Wilhelm Friedrich Leopold of Prussia||1865||1931||married Princess Louise Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg|
Their marriage was unhappy. After the birth of their fourth daughter, Prince Frederick Charles reportedly beat his wife for not producing a son. According to one source, it was only by the entreaties of Emperor Wilhelm I that a separation never occurred.
Maria Anna was considered by contemporaries to be one of the loveliest women of her generation. She possessed a remarkable talent for music and painting, and often advised young girls when they first entered society. Maria Anna was almost completely deaf, which according to her friend Princess Catherine Radziwill, "caused her to show extreme timidity and embarrassment whenever she found herself in company". Radziwill went on to say however that "when [Maria Anna] was alone with you, and not disturbed by the noise of many conversations around her, she became quite charming, and really witty".
Her husband Prince Frederick Charles died on 15 June 1885. After his death, Maria Anna left Berlin for Italy, staying mainly in Naples, Rome, and Florence. Rumors soon emerged that Maria Anna contracted a morganatic marriage to Capt. von Wagenheim, one of her equerries.
In 1889, their only son Prince Frederick married Princess Louise Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, a sister of Empress Augusta Viktoria. Maria Anna died on 12 May 1906 in Friedrichroda.
- Radziwill, Catherine (1915). Memories of Forty Years. London: Funk & Wagnalls Company.